Thursday, August 31, 2006

A rose by any other name

This is a photo of a rose I took and then played with in photoshop. I like the way it came out.

This copy is small so you can't see the detail that I can on my big monitor. Still, it's a cool piece of photo art.

I am a huge fractal fan and found a couple of good programs that look great for major fractal creation and experimentation. I found those programs thanks to another blogger whose name I can't remember.

How, I will make the effort to find the page and post it here. Her fractals are excellent.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pod Of Funk

Funk from London If you haven't listened to Pod of Funk Number Nine then now is your chance.

It's got some excellent tracks on it as well as the one and only, the unique, the incomparable, smackin' it down across the airways, Deek Deekster himself guiding us though the podcast.

But I warn you, Deek's not in the best of moods with the shitty war. There is some explicit albeit very appropriate language and who can blame him? We're all pissed about the war.

If you haven't subscribed to POF click on the link above and do it. Deek's own description of the musical content: "Classic, rare and eclectic funk, jazz, trip hop, and more from London."

All the podcasts so far have been great and are well composed and produced by Deek Deekster.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Man of Honor

If you have seen the film, Men of Honor starring Cuba Gooding Jr, then you most likely know who Carl Brashear is.

I have only just read that he has passed away. His life was one of great importance to us all because he fought to simply be equal and do the very best that he was capable of. He was a man to admire and respect.

I am sorry I never had the chance to meet Master Chief Brashear himself. It would have been quite an honor.

This following is a partial post copied from Read the full story there listed under, Top stories, Military News section.

A funeral for retired Master Chief Carl Brashear will be conducted at 1 PM Saturday at Little Creek Amphibious Base Chapel with Elder Conley White officiating. He will then be laid to rest at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens.

Brashear, whose accomplishments and feats were chronicled in the film "Men of Honor", died Tuesday at Naval Medical Center. Portsmouth at the age of 75.

Carl Brashear, the first African-American Navy Diver, died today at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. He was 75 years-old.

A spokesperson for the hospital said he died at 2:35 PM of respiratory and heart failure.

Master Chief Brashear joined the Navy in 1948 at age 17. He was the first black deep sea diver, first black master diver and first person in naval history to be restored to full active duty as an amputee.

He held the position of Master Diver in the US Navy from 1975 to 77. His son, Chief Warrent Officer Phillip Brashear, who is a helicopter pilot in the Army, was here on emergency leave from Iraq to be with his father.

According to his official Navy biography, Carl Maxie Brashear was born on January 19, 1931 was the first African-American to become a United States Navy diver, in the early 1950s. On January 17, 1966, he suffered an accident while on duty, which left him without a leg. After a long struggle, he became the first amputee to be certified as a diver, in April 1968.

He was born in Tonieville, Larue County, Kentucky (USA). Brashear retired from the U.S. Navy in 1979 as a Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) and Master Diver. He then served as a civilian employee for the government and retired in 1993 with the grade of GS-11.

No memorial arrangements have yet been announced.

A history on the Website of the U.S. Naval Institute follows:

Brashear grew up on a farm in Kentucky as part of sharecropper's family.

After being educated in small segregated schools, he enlisted in the Navy in 1948 and underwent recruit training at Great Lakes, Illinois.

After initial duty as a steward, he began handling aircraft for squadron VX-1 at Key West, Florida, and was subsequently rated as a boatswain's mate.

He served in the escort carriers Palau (CVE-122) and Tripoli (CVE-64) and began taking training in salvage diving. Other duties were in USS Opportune (ARS-41); Naval Air Station Quonset Point, where he escorted President Dwight Eisenhower; Ship Repair Facility Guam; Deep-Sea Diving School; the submarine tender Nereus (AS-17), and Fleet Training Center Pearl Harbor.

He also had temporary duty with Joint Task Force Eight for nuclear tests in the Pacific.

He served in the USS Coucal (ASR-8), USS Shakori (ATF-162), and USS Hoist (ARS-40).

While on board the latter in 1966 for the recovery of a nuclear weapon off Spain, Brashear was badly injured in an accident; as a result, surgeons amputated his left leg below the knee. He refused to submit to medical survey boards attempting to retire him as unfit for duty.

After demonstrating that he could still dive and perform his other duties, he served in Harbor Clearance Unit 2, Naval Air Station Norfolk, Experimental Diving Unit, submarine tender Hunley (AS-31); USS Recovery (ARS-43), Naval Safety Center, and Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity Norfolk.

In 1970 he qualified as the first black master diver in the history of the U.S. Navy.

No memorial arrangements have yet been announced.


Music and Seether

It is a fact that I absolutely love music. I try to be fair and give almost any type a listen. In doing so I have learned to appreciate many types of music. That being said none will ever come as close to my heart as rock music. I suppose because I loved it for so many years that it just stuck.

I grew up listening to everything from Elvis Presley, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme and their ball room style music to old tunes to country music, opera music and classical, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and anything rock... Cream was a favorite as was Joe Walsh, The Grateful Dead and Steppenwolf and three Dog Night. Then came Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana and almost anything with the Motown label. In other words you name it and I listened to it.

For the most part that is still true with me. I'll listen to anything once and there is a lot of good music out there. That being said my heart always comes back to rock and alternative music.

One of my absolute favorite groups is Seether. I love all the CD's they've done so far but the first, "Disclaimer" is my favorite. I love all the songs on the CD but "Broken" just tears me up. The music is beautiful but sad.

Here are the lyrics to "Broken".

I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph; I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

Because I'am broken when I'am open
And I don't feel like I am strong enough
Because I'am broken when I'am lonesome
And I don't feel light when you're gone away

The worst is over now and we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away
There's so much left to learn, and no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

Because I'am broken when I'am open
And I don't feel like I am strong enough
Because I'am broken when I'am lonesome
And I don't feel right when you're gone away

Because I'am broken when I'm open
And I don't feel like I am strong enough
Because I'am broken when I'am lonesome
And I don't feel light when you're gone away.

If you haven't heard the South African group Seether, pick up one of their CD's. Disclaimer is my favorite but all of them are great. If you like good rock you won't be dissapointed but be warned - they do have explicit language in a good number of their songs.

I don't mind that. In fact I could care less since I curse quite a lot myself and it really is only expression. I figure if the worst a person does is use curse words then they are doing much better than a lot of people.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wow, this year is flying by.

I haven't written a new post in billions of years. That isn't true. I wrote one a few days ago. Still, I have to write a new post since it's now August. Wow another year almost gone. Where did it go?

I am hoping that next year will be a better year and definitely a happier year. At some point I want to sit down and actually make a list of the things that would make the new year better, when I do I'll post it here as well. If anyone has any good ideas feel free to share with me.

I do hope to travel more in 2007 since I miss it very much. I'm afraid that I don't consider driving around Texas for three, four or even five hours straight without seeing anything of any real interest to actually be travel. It's BORING.

I love the atmosphere in Europe. Germany and Austria are both great and I love them. I really enjoyed my visit there and I do hope to get back at some point. The German people certainly know how to party and the beer is the best. Hands down the best.

Atmosphere is important to me too but not the sort that one might find in an expensive hotel room. I like the, "travel on a shoestring" sort of trips, then if you splurge on a fancy meal or hotel room it makes the whole hotel thing better.

Getting spoiled at some posh hotel where everything one could possibly hope for is provided might be great but it rather spoils things for the ordinary person like myself. Still, I wouldn't mind being spoiled rotten in a posh hotel.

This is kind of off the mark on why I was writing. I meant to write something about the new year being a better year. And while traveling to Europe to be spoiled with the, "Peel me another grape Helmut" sort of attitude does sound rather appealing, I suppose I should look at possibilities closer to home.

Colorado is on the list for certain. It's not too far that we couldn't drive there so Pete and I do hope to get up that way. And of course we love Virginia and want to visit my son Donny again. The Navy doesn't give him enough time off which really isn't in their best interest but there's nothing I can do about that.

Let's all hope that the rest of 2006 is safe and good and that the quickly arriving 2007 is a great year all round.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hot stuff

A variety of wickedly hot peppers.
Here is a photo I took of a bunch of peppers on my kitchen counter. I thought the bright colors were pretty and tasty looking despite their deadly heat.

I actually grew some small peppers once that we thought were bell peppers mainly because the little plant tag at the greenhouse had said that was a California Wonder bell pepper.

Unknowingly I grilled some with some chicken and popped one in my mouth - they were small so I thought they would work well with the veggie stir fry I made to go with the chicken - and the heat immediately sent flames across my face. Never again.

In fact, that was such a bad experience I glare at anything that resembles bell peppers in the plant houses now. Needless to say, I threw away the entire plant. Evil things they were.